Therapy for Trauma and PTSD in Broomfield and Boulder
Is Trauma Keeping You from Living the Life You Were Meant to Live?
- Are you struggling with moving on from difficult life events?
- Do you wish you could stop reliving painful memories and learn to relax?
- Do your emotions sometimes seem like they are controlling you, rather than the other way around?
- Is it difficult for you to form meaningful relationships?
- Do you find yourself avoiding certain situations or people because you don’t feel safe?
What Is Trauma?
Trauma happens when the body and mind are overwhelmed by a highly disturbing or life-threatening event or series of events. The sense of overwhelm prevents you from processing what happened, leaving you with mental, emotional, and sometimes even spiritual wounds.
There are two types of trauma: “Big T” and “Little T.” Big T trauma is usually a single event – a natural disaster, physical or sexual assault, witnessing violence or death, etc. – and is what most people think of when they hear the word “trauma.” Little T trauma usually involves a series of stressful events – growing up with a critical parent, being bullied, experiencing emotional neglect, etc. – and though it is lesser known, it can be just as harmful as Big T trauma.
Some of the common symptoms of trauma are:
- Re-experiencing the traumatic event in nightmares, flashbacks, or distressing memories.
- Feeling shame, hopelessness, or intense fear.
- Feeling detached from other people, or like you can’t feel close anymore.
- Feeling “wound-up,” unable to relax, easily startled, or unable to concentrate.
- Feeling “numb” or “frozen.”
- An inability to feel happiness, love, or satisfaction.
Some of the common behaviors associated with trauma are:
- Avoiding conflict by giving up your own needs, matching your mood to others, etc.
- Taking responsibility for other peoples’ emotions.
- Being so self-sufficient that you end up isolated, lonely and feeling more shame.
- Engaging in perfectionism, and believing that anything other than perfection is failure.
- Acting in ways that reflect a strong fear that others will leave (fear of abandonment).
Reclaim Your Life from the Harmful Effects of Trauma
“Time heals everything.” While this hopeful saying is true in many cases, time on its own does not heal all wounds. Physical injuries may heal, and the body and mind may recover from most stressful events, but time by itself can’t heal the emotional and mental wounds of trauma.
Unresolved trauma can permeate every aspect of your life, including your career and relationships. In addition, untreated trauma can tend to get worse with time.
Fortunately, there is hope. You are not broken. Your physical and emotional reactions to trauma are a natural part of the process. With the right support, you can move through these reactions, and release your trauma without reliving it.
If you are ready to begin the process of healing your trauma, I can help. And if you’re dealing with mixed emotions about whether or not to even start trauma therapy, I can help you work through that too.
I use EMDR, one of the most-researched trauma therapies available. I am also trained in IFS (“parts work”) and Clinical Hypnosis, both of which can be used in support of your healing. In therapy, we will move at a pace that is safe and supportive, and you will always have a say in the process.
The ideal outcome of trauma therapy is the ability to say, “What happened to me is over now, and I’m stronger because of it.”
Some of the common results of trauma therapy are:
- Feeling stronger and more resilient.
- A reduction in the sense of distress, and an increase in emotional comfort.
- Releasing strong body sensations.
- Adopting new beliefs about yourself that are more positive and accurate.
- Gaining new skills and identifying inner resources so you can better work with difficult experiences in the future.
“Trauma involves a lifelong pushing down, a tremendous expenditure of energy of not feeling the pain. As we heal, that energy is liberated for life in the present. So the energy of trauma can be transformed into the energy of life.” – Dr. Gabor Maté
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